Balance Territories for College Recruiters

Create a new territory solution

You'll use ArcGIS Pro with theArcGIS Business Analyst extension to create a territory solution. A territory solution layer contains all the elements needed to build, edit, and maintain territories. You'll use it to divide Marion County into five recruitment zones.

  1. Download the BalancedTerritories project package.
  2. Locate the downloaded BalancedTerritories.ppkx file on your computer. Double-click the file to open it in ArcGIS Pro. If prompted, sign in to your ArcGIS account.
    Note:

    If you don't have ArcGIS Pro or an ArcGIS account, you can sign up for an ArcGIS free trial.

    Layers in the Contents pane and on the map

    The project contains a map, with layers representing all high school locations, a major interstate highway, and the county boundary. The map also contains a layer named Marion County Block Groups. The block group is a geographical unit used by the United States Census Bureau. This layer contains two important attributes:

    • HighSchool_Count—The number of high schools in each block group
    • Population_Age_14_To_18—The number of high-school-age residents in each block group
    Note:

    Data rarely comes in the exact format that you need. Read the blog articles Data selection and preparation and No data no problem: Leverage Living Atlas, Spatial Joins, and Data Enrichment to create the layer that you need to learn how the data for this lesson was prepared.

  3. On the ribbon, click the Analysis tab. In the Tools group, click Business Analysis and choose New Territory Design Solution.

    New Territory Design Solution in the Business Analysis gallery

    The Create Territory Solution tool opens in the Geoprocessing pane.

    To create territories, you need to assign a base layer, which will act as the foundation of the solution. Here, you will specify the block groups in Marion County as the base.

  4. For Input Features, choose Marion County Block Groups.
  5. For Territory Solution Name, type RecruitingAreas.

    Create Territory Solution tool with parameters filled in

  6. Click Run.

    A new territory solution named RecruitingAreas appears in the Contents pane. It has Marion County Block Groups as its base layer, and empty layers for Territories and Levels.

    RecruitingAreas territory solution layer in the Contents pane with three sublayers

    You don't need to create different levels for this project. But you will solve the solution to create territories. Your aim is to create five territories with relatively equal numbers of high schools and high-school-age people. Next, you'll add these two variables to the solution so you can compare their values after the territories are created.

  7. In the Contents pane, click RecruitingAreas to select it. On the ribbon, under Territory Design, click the Solution tab.
  8. In the Analysis group, click Add Variables.

    Add Variables button on the Solution tab

    The Add Level Variables tool opens in the Geoprocessing pane. The first three parameters are already populated.

  9. Under Variables, for Statistic Field, choose Population_Age_14_To_18. For Statistic, choose Sum.
  10. Next to Variables, click the Add New button.
  11. For the new variable, for Statistic Field, choose HighSchool_Count, and for Statistic, choose Sum.

    Add Level Variables tool with two variables listed

  12. Click Run.

    Nothing appears to change, but two new variables—Population_Age_14_To_18 and HighSchool_Count—have been added to the solution.

  13. In the Contents pane, right-click Territories and choose Attribute Table.

    Territories layer in the Contents pane with Attribute Table option in its context menu

    No territories have been created yet, so the attribute table is empty. But two new columns have been added: Population_Age_14_To_18 and HighSchool_Count. You may need to scroll to the end of the table to see them.

  14. Close the attribute table.

    Next, you'll solve the solution to create territories.

  15. On the ribbon, click the Solution tab.
    Tip:

    The Solution tab is part of the Territory Design contextual tab, which only appears when a territory solution layer is selected. If it is not available, click RecruitingAreas in the Contents pane.

  16. In the Analysis group, click Solve.

    Solve button on the Solution tab

    The Solve Territories tool opens. The first three parameters are already populated. You have five recruiters and want to assign a territory to each of them.

  17. For Number of Territories, type 5.

    Solve Territories tool with Number of Territories set to 5

  18. Click Run.

    The territories are created and added to the map.

    Map of Marion County divided into five territories

    Note:

    Your territory boundaries may be different from the ones shown in this lesson. This is because the territories are created by a nondeterministic algorithm, which randomly locates centers for the territories and then draws the boundaries.

  19. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Save to save the project.

    Save button on the Quick Access Toolbar

Next, you'll examine whether the territories are well balanced. So far, your analysis did not provide any constraints about the number of high schools or students in each territory, so they are likely uneven.

Assess territories with charts

Now that you have divided Marion County into five territories, you'll compare them to see how well balanced they are. You would like each of your five recruiters to receive an even workload.

  1. On the ribbon, on the Solution tab, in the Visualize group, click Create Chart.

    Create Chart button on the Solution tab

    A chart appears beneath the map, representing the number of high schools per territory.

    Bar chart of number of high schools in each territory

    In this example, one territory contains 12 schools, while another contains only 5. Your chart may show a different distribution.

    Next, you'll compare values for the Population_Age_14_To_18 variable.

  2. At the top of the chart, click Properties.

    Properties button on the chart view

    The Chart Properties pane appears.

  3. Under Numeric field(s), uncheck the HighSchool_Count box and check the Population_Age_14_To_18 box instead.
  4. Click Apply.

    Population_Age_14_To_18 selected for Numeric Fields in the Chart Properties pane

    The chart updates to show the number of people of high school age in each territory.

    Bar chart of the high-school-age population in each territory

  5. At the top of the chart, click Attribute Table.

    Attribute Table button on the chart view

    The Territories attribute table appears, and this time it is populated with five rows.

    The Population_Age_14_To_18 and HighSchool_Count columns that you added earlier show the number of high-school-age people and high schools in each territory.

    Population_Age_14_To_18 and HighSchool_Count columns in the Territories attribute table

    The territories in this example are not well balanced in terms of the target population or the number of high schools. Some territories have a much larger population than others. You want to change this, to make sure that the recruiters’ load is distributed more evenly. You could try running the Solve Territories tool again until you got better results, but this is not a reliable method. Instead, you'll specify additional criteria for the territory solution and then solve it again.

  6. Close the attribute table, the chart, and the Chart Properties pane.

Create territories with additional criteria

The Territory Design solution allows you to establish rules for how the territories are created. You'll specify the following criteria:

  • Territories must strive to have an even high-school-age population.
  • Each territory must contain between 7 and 10 high schools.
  • No territory may cross Interstate 65. This is a major highway with heavy traffic and frequent maintenance and construction projects. It will be more convenient for the recruiters if they do not have to cross it while traveling within their territories.
  1. On the ribbon, on the Solution tab, in the Analysis group, click Balance Variables.

    The Set Balance Variables tool opens. You'll use it to define variables that the new territories should strive to keep balanced.

  2. For Variable, choose Population_Age_14_To_18.

    You are only adding one variable to this tool, so you'll assign it the maximum weight, which is 100.

  3. For Weight, type 100.

    Set Balance Variables tool with one variable added

  4. Click Run.

    Nothing changes on your map yet. You will need to solve the solution again before you see the effect. But first, you'll apply attribute constraints to the number of high schools.

  5. On the ribbon, on the Solution tab, in the Analysis group, click Attribute Constraints.

    The Set Territory Attribute Constraints tool opens. In the example territories shown earlier, the number of high schools ranged from 5 to 12. It will be better if each recruiter has a minimum number of schools that they need to visit.

  6. For Variable, choose HighSchool_ Count.
  7. For Minimum, type 7.
  8. For Maximum, type 10.

    Set Territory Attribute Constraints tool with parameters filled in

  9. Click Run.

    The territory attribute constraints are now set and will be applied when you solve the solution. Next, you will specify a barrier.

  10. On the ribbon, in the Analysis group, expand the Barriers menu. There are two options:
    • Add Impedance Barriers specifies line or polygon features that territories cannot cross.
    • Add Restricted Areas specifies areas that cannot be included in any territory.

      You do not want your territories to span the highway, so you'll specify it as an impedance barrier.

  11. Click Add Impedance Barriers.

    Add Impedance Barriers in the Barriers menu on the Solution tab

  12. In the Add Territory Barriers tool, for Input Barrier Features, choose Interstate 65.

    Add Territory Barriers tool with Input Barrier Features set to Interstate 65

  13. Click Run.

    The barrier is applied. You are now ready to solve the solution again, and create territories that comply with your criteria and better suit your needs.

  14. On the ribbon, in the Analysis group, click Solve.
  15. In the Solve Territories tool, for Number of Territories, type 5.
  16. Click Run.

    The territories are updated. They no longer cross the highway, except where the highway cuts through block groups themselves.

    Map of Marion County divided into five territories

  17. Save the project.

Assess new territories with charts

The new territories satisfy your third criterion and do not cross Interstate 65. Next, you'll use charts to determine if your other two criteria are met. Your hope is that the new territories are balanced in terms of both number of high schools and number of high-school-age people.

  1. On the ribbon, in the Visualize group, click Create Chart. An updated chart of the Population_Age_14_To_18 variable appears.

    Bar chart of the high-school-age population in each territory

    The updated territories are better balanced by target population compared to the initial territories. They now vary from about 9,500 to 13,500. Before, they varied from about 8,000 to 16,000.

  2. At the top of the chart, click Properties to open the Chart Properties pane.

    Properties button on the chart view

  3. Uncheck the Population_Age_14_To_18 box and check the HighSchool_Count box. Click Apply.

    The chart updates to show the number of high schools in each territory. The distribution is more even than before. They now vary from 8 to 9, whereas before they varied from 4 to 12.

    Bar chart of number of high schools in each territory

  4. At the top of the chart, click Attribute Table to view the attribute table for the updated territories.

    Population_Age_14_To_18 and HighSchool_Count columns in the Territories attribute table

    The territories are better balanced now: each contains 8 to 9 high schools and 9,664 to 13,730 people of high school age. The workload for the five recruiters is now distributed more evenly, and since no territories cross the interstate highway, their travel between schools should also be easier.

  5. Close the attribute table, the chart, and the Chart Properties pane.

As mentioned earlier, your results may vary, and it is important to remember that creating territories is an iterative and nondeterministic process—you can repeat and run the solve tool until the territories have boundaries that best suit your needs. You may also improve territories by manually editing them.

Manually edit territories

You may see some block groups on your map that were not included in any territory. This can happen sometimes when attribute constraints are set.

Unassigned block group areas on the map of Marion County

Next, you'll manually assign these areas to a territory.

Note:

If your map has no unassigned areas and you still want to complete this part of the lesson, rerun the Solve Territories tool to create a new arrangement of territories.

  1. On the ribbon, on the Solution tab, make sure Active Level is set to Territories.

    Active Level set to Territories on the Solution tab

  2. In the Edit Territories group, click Assign.

    Assign button on the Solution tab

  3. In the Assign To Territory pane, click Select one or more features.

    Select one or more features button in the Assign To Territory pane

  4. On the map, select any block groups that were not assigned to a territory.
    Tip:

    Press the Shift key while clicking to select multiple features.

    Three unassigned block group areas selected on the map

    There are two unassigned block groups near the middle of the map. Because you do not want any territories to span the interstate highway, you will add these block groups to the dark green territory to the east.

    Two unassigned block groups on the map, which can be reassigned to the territory to the east

  5. Look at the legend in the Contents pane to identify the territories based on their color.

    The dark green area is named Territory 2. The third unassigned block group, on the southern border of Marion County, can also be added to Territory 2.

    One unassigned block group on the map, which can be reassigned to the territory to the east

  6. In the Assign To Territory pane, click Territory 2 and click Apply.

    Territory 2 in the Assign To Territory pane

    The block groups are reassigned.

    Three block groups selected on the map, symbolized as dark green

  7. On the ribbon, in the Edit Territories group, click Clear to clear the selection.
  8. Close the Assign To Territory pane.

Create a map of recruitment territories

You now have five well-balanced college recruitment territories for Marion County, Indiana. Next, you'll export the results to a new feature class and create a map to share with recruiters.

  1. On the ribbon, on the Solution tab, in the Manage group, click Create Feature Classes.
  2. In the Create Territory Level Feature Classes tool, under Feature Classes, check the box for Territory Boundaries.

    Create Territory Level Feature Classes tool with Territory Boundaries selected

  3. Click Run.

    A layer named Boundaries of Territories is added to the map.

    Note:

    If you want to export the entire territory solution as a feature class, click Export Solution in the Share group on the ribbon.

    To complete your map, you will label the territories.

  4. In the Contents pane, turn off all layers except Topographic, Boundaries of Territories, and Public High Schools.
  5. Select the Boundaries of Territories layer.
  6. On the ribbon, click the Labeling tab. In the Layer group, click the Label button to turn on labeling.
  7. In the Label Class group, for Field, choose ID.

    Label button enabled and Field set to ID on the Labeling tab

    The map is now labeled with the territory numbers, but they are difficult to read.

  8. On the ribbon, in the Text Symbol group, change the font style to Bold and the size to 18.

    Font set to Tahoma Bold 18 on the Labeling tab

    Finally, you'll make the territories transparent so the streets and neighborhoods can be viewed underneath.

  9. On the ribbon, click the Appearance tab. In the Effects group, move the transparency slider to 50 percent.

    Transparency slider set to 50 percent on the Appearance tab

    You now have a map of territories that you can share with your college recruiters.

    Map of Marion County divided into five territories, with the basemap showing underneath, and numbered labels drawn on top

  10. Save and close the project.

In this lesson, you used a Territory Design solution workflow to define recruitment zones in Marion County, Indiana. You learned how to use balance variables, attribute constraints, and barriers to create balanced territories with boundaries that are a good fit for your firm’s needs. These territories can be assigned to individual recruiters in your firm to fairly balance the workload between them.